History


Avgonima, a village in the municipality of Omiroupoli, is located in central Chios. Its distance from the city centre is 16 km and it lies on the west of the island, at a 6 km- distance from Anavatos village.

Amandos claims that the name of the village derives from the word "evonyma". His claim is based on the word "Avgonimata" a location between Avgonima and Anavatos, which means "cheap fields".

The village is a very old, medieval one and its oldest buildings date from the 11th century. Ieronymos Ioustinianis a historian from Geneva, is one among others, who refers to Avgonima as a fortress. According to legend the village has been destroyed by pirates.

This picturesque medieval fortress- village is unique and according to legend it was built on a rocky land, after the construction of Nea Moni monastery had been completed by some builders who, having gained their freedom, started a new life on the mountains around the monastery. The construction workers had been convicts, who had been doing their sentence working for the convert.

Another historically proven view concerning the foundation of the village, mentions its construction by the guard, men and officers around the tower (which, in our days, is a municipal building, where two of our apartments are found). The tower, as in many other villages of Chios, had been built to serve as an observation deck.

There are small windows, high above the ground which therefore are inaccessible. They constitute the evidence of the construction of the village as a fortress in order to keep it protected from pirate invasion.

Many of houses were in contact with one another and there arte still nowadays the crossings (which now are built in doors) from on house to the other mainly in the outer part of the village. The purpose was to offer the inhabitant a chance to escape in case the enemies entered one house. An example of this remains at Spitakia 1 and 4.

Generally speaking, the defensive plan of the island included also the observation decks (vigles) and their guards (viglatores) as the one that still remains in Elinda and others at several locations on the western coast of Chios.

Today the village has been carefully restored, in most of its parts, by the contemporary owners of little farms. It has very few residents, but several visitors spend there their weekends. .

 

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